Remember Google Glass? That head-mounted computer resembling a pair of glassless eyeglasses?
You are forgiven if you have forgotten. Google’s first attempt at ubiquitous computing sure had cachet when it went to market in the spring of 2014 and was dubbed the natural next step in digital-first design. That cachet disappeared less than a year later, and Glass did soon after, as Google insisted those first publicly available headsets were just prototypes.
Exactly when the next Glass prototype will become available is not known, but several tech journals that had been skimming through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s public records found that Google was granted a patent this week for single-lens eye wear described as an electronic device affixed with a form-fitting “band” that clings to one side of the wearer’s scalp.
The display portion is suspended in front of the wearer’s left eye and, according to the patent’s illustrations, looks more like a prism than a conventional lens.
Google Glass dropped out of the consumer market in January amid promises it would be reincarnated soon, though only for enterprise use. The project upgrade turned up at Google under the name Aura in September two months after a Google job posting called for manufacturing engineers in its Glass division.
Italian eyewear maker Luxottica is also involved, company CEO Massimo Vian told the Wall Street Journal in April.
“What you saw was Version 1,” Vian said. “We’re now working on Version 2, which is now in preparation,” he said.